A closed minded bench, is a biased bench

Too often, when a couple settles a custody matter, deciding on joint legal custody, regardless of residential custody, the judge says: “Unless you provide for who has final say if the parties do not agree, I will not approve it.” When asked why, the response is: “Because from my experience, joint custody does not work.” Once one parent has final say, it is no longer joint custody.

The only experience a judge has is with problems and those situations which do not work. No one comes back to the judge years later to say: “Hey, our situation worked, thank you for approving it.” Judges only see the problems, not the successes. Joint custody is more than just face saving. It benefits the children most.

Statistically, those with joint legal custody have a child(ren) who is extra emotionally and psychologically healthy because both parents are involved as much as possible. More importantly, the highest rate of child support payment and compliance is in situations with true joint legal custody. Further, statistically, the smallest rate of post divorce litigation is among those with joint legal custody. Of course judges would not know this, they do not see the happy endings, they only see the problem cases that come back.

A closed minded bench, is a biased bench.

Mace H. Greenfield, Esq.

The writer was a custodial dad.